PAST and present Bomaderry High School students gathered at the Bomaderry Bowling Club on Monday wearing pink to support their former teacher and breast cancer survivor, Julie Cerinich.
Mrs Cerinich will be a special guest at Bomaderry Cricket Club’s Pink Stumps Day on February 24 at Bomaderry Oval, where several cricketing and pink themed activities are planned.
The main event is the T20 clash between the Young Guns and All Stars.
The aim of the day is to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation to provide breast care nurses throughout Australia, and to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Mrs Cerinich will be at the day to cheer for her students.
She will be rubbing shoulders with former international player and Footy Show star Bryan Fletcher, Australian, NSW Origin and Dragons player Shaun Timmins, NSW Origin and Parramatta player Eric Grothe Jr and Dragons legend Shane Millard, who will all play in
the T20 clash against the Bomaderry Young Guns.
“The more we can raise awareness of cancer, particularly breast cancer, the more opportunities there are for more nurses to be employed as breast cancer nurses, and be there to support women,” she said.
Through self examination, Mrs Cerinich detected a lump in May, 2011. By June she had had a biopsy and numerous tests.
“Because it was so aggressive, we had to act quickly. I had to have the chemotherapy course as soon as possible, which was followed by an operation and radiotherapy,” she said.
It was an incredibly trying 12 months for Mrs Cerinich, who has for now been given the cancer all-clear. But she won’t know for another five years whether or not she has completely beaten the disease.
“But I do feel in myself that it is gone,”
“I had access to breast cancer nurses made available through the hard work of the late Jane McGrath. Having contact with a nurse and that team of people was just wonderful,” she said.
Mrs Cerinich said her breast cancer nurse at Shoalhaven Hospital was a fantastic support for her on her journey, as well as her family and friends.
“Also the support I received from the staff and the year 12 students from Bomaderry High School was fantastic. They were
so compassionate, understanding and lovely,” she said.
“There can be many mental and physical changes. I came through a lot stronger from the experience in many ways,” Mrs Cerinich admitted.
Captain of the All Stars team, Jason Bell, described Mrs Cerinich as a fantastic teacher in every way who was always nice and gave him a lot of chances.
“Both teachers (Mrs Cerinich and organiser Cathy Russell) always tried their best to get me out of trouble,” he laughed.
“I think it is fantastic that both teachers are involved in the day. A big shout out to Cathy for all the work she has done. And it is good to see Mrs Cerinich come and be a guest on the day. It is great she has beaten the disease and is so enthusiastic to be here,” he said.
Bell was hopeful for a win for his team.
“I guess I have a big advantage because I play with all the guys on the Bomo side. But I think it is going to be a pretty close game all around,” he said.
Bell said the player he would be watching out for on the Young Guns team was
“Especially with a new ball. But all of the guys on that side can bat,” he said.
“For us, Kieran Gray and Duncan Maddinson are down and are both really good with the bat, so hopefully they can get us off to a good start.”
Bell encouraged people to come and watch the game.
“We are raising money and awareness to fight cancer, which I think is a terrific cause. Hopefully the Shoalhaven will turn out to support us. There will be plenty of things to do and see and it should be an exciting game of cricket,” he said.
Mrs Cerinich will resume teaching full time this year.
“The most important message I can put out there is for regular and thorough
self-examination. It is key to catch it early,” she said.
For more information on the Bomaderry Pink Stumps Day, contact Cathy Russell on 0400 342 309 or visit pinkstumpsday2013 gofundraise.com.au/page/Bomaderry
You can make also make a donation to the McGrath Foundation.